FIVE-DAY RE­MAND OR­DER AGAINST PHEE

Court also grants re­mand for fac­tory man­ager, direc­tor

New Straits Times - - News - AU­DREY DERMAWAN GE­ORGE TOWN au­dreymd@nst.com.my

THE mag­is­trate’s court here yes­ter­day granted a five-day re­mand or­der against state Wel­fare, Car­ing So­ci­ety and En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tee chair­man Phee Boon Poh to fa­cil­i­tate in­ves­ti­ga­tions into an il­le­gal car­bon fil­ter fac­tory in Sun­gai Lembu, Bukit Mer­ta­jam.

The re­mand or­der, which will end on Wed­nes­day, was is­sued by se­nior deputy reg­is­trar Ameera Mas­tura Khamis.

The re­mand or­der was to fa­cil­i­tate the Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion’s (MACC) in­ves­ti­ga­tions un­der Sec­tion 23 of the MACC Act 2009 for abuse of power for grat­i­fi­ca­tion.

Ameera granted the fac­tory’s 70-year-old man­ager and his 37year-old son, who is the fac­tory’s direc­tor, the same five-day re­mand or­der.

Dev Ku­maraen­dran ap­peared for both fa­ther and son.

Speak­ing out­side the court­room, Phee’s lawyers, Ramkarpal Singh and R.S.N. Rayer, said they took is­sue with the court’s or­der, de­scrib­ing it as “highly ir­reg­u­lar.”

Ramkarpal said they would file a re­vi­sion with the High Court, un­der the nec­es­sary pro­vi­sions un­der the Criminal Pro­ce­dure Code, to cor­rect the court’s or­der.

He said prior to the pro­ceed­ings, they had raised a pre­lim­i­nary is­sue on whether MACC’s re­fusal to al­low them to com­mu­ni­cate with their clients was law­ful.

He said they had only sub­mit­ted yes­ter­day morn­ing on the is­sue, and it was con­sid­ered by MACC deputy public pros­e­cu­tor Ah­mad Ghaz­ali Muhamad Nadzri, who sub­mit­ted oth­er­wise.

“So, this morn­ing’s is­sue ven­ti­lated on whether or not we should be given the right to con­sult with our clients and take in­struc­tions from them. It was made very clear that the mer­its of the ac­tual re­mand — the pe­riod of re­mand — hasn’t been touched on yet. The MACC deputy public pros­e­cu­tor had asked for seven days.

“We had asked for this le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion is­sue to be de­cided first as a pre­lim­i­nary is­sue be­fore we go into its mer­its. Af­ter which, the learned se­nior deputy reg­is­trar ad­journed the matter for 20 min­utes to de­cide on the is­sue... that was what she told us.

“So, we were shocked when she came back af­ter 20 min­utes and had de­cided on the en­tire ap­pli­ca­tion, in­clud­ing the mer­its, and had given five days with­out hear­ing us. The point is this: our sub­mis­sion this morn­ing was only cen­tred on the is­sue of le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion and we did not touch on the re­mand.

“We made it clear that this sub­mis­sion is made with­out prej­u­dice to our right to sub­mit on the mer­its later. So, in other words, she had de­cided on the mer­its with­out hear­ing us, which we take is­sue with. We are of the view that this or­der, there­fore, is ir­reg­u­lar and needs to be re­vised by the High Court judge.”

Ramkarpal said there was pro­vi­sion in the Criminal Pro­ce­dure Code where they could pro­pose for the or­der to be re­vised.

“We asked the learned se­nior deputy reg­is­trar to help us file the nec­es­sary re­vi­sion with the High Court judge be­cause today (yes­ter­day) is Satur­day.

“She re­fused. She main­tained her or­der for re­mand for five days de­spite our ob­jec­tions and con­cerns that the or­der was highly ir­reg­u­lar.

“So, we are go­ing to draft the nec­es­sary let­ter for re­vi­sion un­der the nec­es­sary pro­vi­sions of the Criminal Pro­ce­dure Code.”

On Thurs­day, MACC and sev­eral govern­ment agen­cies raided the il­le­gal car­bon fil­ter fac­tory in Sun­gai Lembu.

Other than the fac­tory, its of­fice and the Se­berang Prai Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil’s Li­cens­ing De­part­ment of­fice, both in Banda Perda, Bukit Mer­ta­jam, were also raided.

Ear­lier, Phee, along with the fa­ther and son, ar­rived at the court­house here at 10.10am in three ve­hi­cles.

All came in orange MACC lockup T-shirt and were hand­cuffed. Phee was the first to be led in followed by the son and fa­ther.

Phee, a se­nior DAP as­sem­bly­man in the state, was ar­rested on Fri­day while hav­ing his state­ment recorded by MACC of­fi­cers at the state MACC of­fice here.

Ear­lier the same morn­ing, five MACC of­fi­cers raided Phee’s of­fice at Kom­tar. They left an hour later with a bag of doc­u­ments. Sources said the doc­u­ments were linked to the op­er­a­tions of the il­le­gal fac­tory.

MACC of­fi­cers also went to Phee’s house in But­ter­worth. The fa­ther and son were de­tained later in the evening at the state MACC of­fice here.

Present to lend sup­port to Phee yes­ter­day was Chief Min­is­ter Lim Guan Eng, along with other state DAP and PKR lead­ers and their sup­port­ers.

PIC BY RAMDZAN MASIAM

Phee Boon Poh (cen­tre) be­ing led to the mag­is­trate’s court in Ge­orge Town yes­ter­day.

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